2023 Census:Abia Stakeholders Meet, Discuss Ways To Achieve An Accurate, Credible Census Figure

Ahead of the 2023 Population and Housing Census in Nigeria, stakeholders in Abia State have met to further discussions on how the state can conduct an accurate and acceptable census exercise.


The Stakeholders Summit  with the theme,”Getting the People Involved”, was held at the Abia Hotels, Umuahia and had relevant stakeholders, including the Governor of the State, the 2023 PDP Governorship candidate in Abia, Political Appointees,Civil societies, Labour unions,Private organizations, Religious groups and others, in attendance.
Chief Nwanne Johnny Nwabuisi


In his speech,the Governor of the State,Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, represented by his Chief of Staff,Chief Okey Ahaiwe, said the Stakeholders Summit was apt,as it would afford stakeholders the opportunity to chart a new course for the state,so as to put to an end the controversial census figure Abia has been recording.
The Governor Stated that an accurate population counting is a prerequisite for proper development plan, expressing optimism that the summit would help minimize controversies in the next year process, commending the National Population Commission in Abia for working with the State government to record a seamless exercise.
The Governor represented by Chief Okey Ahaiwe in a shake with the NPC Federal Commissioner


Governor Ikpeazu  asured that the government would provide all logical support to ensure a smooth process, urging Abians to embrace the process.


Also, the People’s Democratic Party candidate for the 2023 guber election, Prof Eleazer Uche Ikonne,who was represented by the Deputy Governorship candidate, Barr Philip Okey Igwe, congratulated the NPC on the Abia State Population Committee.
Prof Ikonne, expounded the need for the country to have an accurate data base for efficient planning, adding that part of the reasons,the smart office of the UchendiAbia Campaign Organization,was launched, was basically to gather relevant data ahead of the 2023 elections.


He further stated the need for Nigeria as a country to have a true National Identity data for realistic population figure,such that,as soon as a child is born,he is counted from birth.
However, the Abia PDP guber candidate, called on the  stakeholders to help drive home the point on the need for Abians to embrace the exercise which is key for political, economic, security and infrastructural development.
He added that those trying to boycott the process should desist from it,as they would be depriving their region good if they reject the process.


In his presentation, titled, “The 2023 Population and Housing Census:The Journey so far”, the Federal Commissioner, National Population Commission,Abia State, Hon Nwanne Johnny Nwabuisi, buttressed the importance of the census exercise to nation building, urging ndigbo to seize the opportunity to up their record, which overtime has remained undercounted as a result of refusal to participate in the exercise.
Chief Nwabuisi called on the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to soft pedal in their claims, stating they would be doing the South East region harm,if they boycott the 2023 population census exercise, adding that the major reason the South East region gets low allocation,as well as low voting strength is as a result of a low population figure, urging them to use the 2023 exercise to correct the anomaly,since the exercise only comes up once in a long while.
The Federal Commissioner also instructed that IPOB should stop interfering in the census exercise,so that South East can record an accurate and credible figure, maintaining that even if the region wants a referendum,they cannot get it with a low population figure.
He, however,urged Abians to come out and get counted when the process starts.
Earlier, the State Coordinator of Abia State Population Census Committee, Rt Hon Eric Acho Nwakanma, commended the organisers of the Summit, which he said would offer Abians the missing opportunity to brainstorm and strategize on the way forward in making the upcoming 2023 Population and Housing census a memorable one,where all would be counted.


He said the Stakeholders summit was long overdue, lamenting that the last census held in 2006 was a huge failure and charade,as far as Abia state was concerned,hence the need to call all relevant stakeholders to come together and speak in one voice.
Rt Hon Eric Acho Nwakanma further appealed to the NPC for collaboration and cooperation,as well as, their ingenious support for the successful conduct of an accurate and acceptable census.